Showing posts with label hill TMC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hill TMC. Show all posts

GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike

11:33 AM
Morcha to TMC: avoid conflict - Ministers to camp in hills on bandh day

Telegraph Darjeeling, Sept. 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today "requested" the Trinamul Congress and the GNLF to stay away from confrontation during the 12-hour bandh on Wednesday 28th September 2016, but the ruling party announced that three ministers would be in the hills on that day "to supervise the situation".

The Morcha called the dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday to protest the allegedly false claim of Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore had been given to the GTA. The chief minister had already announced that she wouldn't allow bandh in the hills.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, held a press conference here today and appealed to Trinamul and the GNLF not to confront the strike.

"The strike is a protest against the domination of the Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee and Aroop Biswas came to the hills, instigated the people and left, leaving the hill residents here. They will not be here during the strike and we request local leaders and cadres of Trinamul and GNLF not to confront the bandh as we are not against our own people," said Tamang.

Tamang also asked the GNLF to cancel its public meeting on the strike day. "We appeal to them to postpone the meeting to any other day so that there is no confrontation that day."
GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike
Darjeeling Bandh - A File Photo
The GNLF's student wing is scheduled to hold a meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

The Morcha leader said the administration was holding meetings with businessmen and transport operators and taking their phone numbers.

"Holding rallies, demonstrations and burning effigies are part of a democratic movement. But if the administration tries to force open shops, the situation could flare up not just in the hills but across north Bengal and we request the administration to handle the situation calmly and in an unbiased manner," said Tamang, who also requested vehicles from Sikkim not to operate within the GTA area on Wednesday.

Within hours, N.B. Khawash, the spokesman for Trinamul (hills), said three ministers would be stationed in the hills on the strike day.

"Three Trinamul ministers will be coming to the hills. They will probably reach tomorrow. They will be in the hills during the strike day to supervise the situation," he said.

While tourism minister Gautam Deb will be in Kalimpong, north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh will camp in Kurseong. Tribal minister James Kujur will be in Darjeeling.

Ghosh said: "Three ministers from the state cabinet will be camping in the hills basically to instill confidence in people's mind and help them in all possible manners."

Deb said the strike was "uncalled for" and would not be accepted by the hill people. "The strike has been thrust on the common people at the start of tourism season," said Deb.

Khawash said Trinamul would appeal to the people through the public address system not to take part in the strike and make them aware of the situation. "We are positive that the people will respond to our appeal."

Even though the Morcha decided to call a strike at the start of the tourism season, the party-controlled GTA will hold World Tourism Day celebrations in Darjeeling and Kalimpong tomorrow. The GTA has, however, cancelled its programme in Mirik.

Pradip Lama, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents (DATA), said: "I will not attend the GTA programmes tomorrow. This is because they will be celebrating the World Tourism Day tomorrow and observing a strike the next day. The strike will hamper tourism. My conscience does not allow me to attend the celebrations."

The government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.

The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

State government and district administration ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

HT, 27 Sep 2016, DARJEELING: The state government and district administration are getting ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung on September 28.

While James Kujur, minister in-charge of tribal development, will oversee matters in Darjeeling on September 28, tourism minister Gautam Deb will be camping in Kalimpong and North Bengal.

“Forceful bandh has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court. We have made all necessary arrangements to tackle any eventuality. Senior police officials will be camping in Darjeeling,” said Darjeeling SP Amit P Javalgi.
A notification from the finance department, Government of West Bengal stated that all state government offices in the GTA area, including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government, will remain open and all employees should report for duty from September 27 to September 29. Absence will result in show cause and salary deduction. Some exceptions including hospitalisation, death in the family have been made.

“Special arrangements for transport have been made. State transport department will run extra buses. We have asked all unions to ply their vehicles. We have tied up with companies to provide insurance in case vehicles are vandalised,” said district magistrate Anurag Shrivastava.

A circular from the transport department stated that the Regional Transport Officer will ensure that public transport remains uninterrupted. “Permits/ licenses are liable to be cancelled for willful non-plying of public service vehicles. Regional Transport Authority will be in charge of cancellation of permits and licenses,” said the circular.
“What can we do? We are caught between the GJM and the district administration. The district administration is pressurising us to keep our shops open. The GJM is saying just the opposite. For how long will the district administration provide us security? We will be marked,” said a shopkeeper.

“The bandh is not the fallout of a tussle between Mamata Banerjee and Bimal Gurung. It is for Gorkhaland and Bengal’s suppression of the demand. We want to see the formation of Gorkhaland by 2019. All proGorkhaland people will support the bandh,” claimed Roshan Giri, general secretary, GJM Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary, GJM warned, “If the police and district administration use force, we will extend the 12-hour bandh and make it indefinite. The jurisdiction of the bandh will then spill over to Siliguri and Dooars.”

The GJM will be sending appeal letters to transport unions of Sikkim not to ply in GTA areas, mainly on National Highway 10 on the day of the bandh.

Though the bandh call was initially called to protest chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that Rs 4000 crores has been allotted to the GTA in the past four-and-a half years, the GJM hurriedly added the “Gorkhaland” demand to the bandh call agenda- a perfect prescription for a successful strike.
Mamata has announced that under no condition will she allow the bandh to paralyze the Hills while Gurung is adamant to see the strike through.

GJM to spread bandh to plains if police "atrocities" continue

EOI DARJEELING 26 Sep 2016 Accusing the district police of intimidating traders, business establishments and vehicle syndicates to remain open on September 28, the proposed bandh day, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today warned of continuing the strike and even spreading it to Siliguri and the Dooars.

GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said the party would make every effort to ensure a peaceful bandh on Wednesday. But he warned that recent police activities had the potential to create a flare-up.

“Why are the police going around and taking phone numbers of traders and syndicate members? Don’t we have the right to protest in a democratic manner by putting up posters, rallying and calling strikes?

If the police attempt to open offices, schools, business establishments forcibly and if the situation turns volatile, the state government and the district administration will have to take the blame,” he threatened.

The GJM has called a 12-hour bandh in the hills on Wednesday seeking clarification from the state government within September 27 on the claim made by chief minister Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore has been allocated for development work and that the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration had failed to execute it in the last four years.

The GJM assistant secretary said the party leadership was initially against calling the bandh, but for the intimidating statement by state minister Arup Biswas in Kalimpong on September 24. “It (Biswas' statement) has become an issue of challenge. We will definitely go ahead with our proposed bandh and even continue it and spread it to the plains if the police attempt to foil it,” said Tamang.

The GJM leader also said the party will be writing to Sikkim and apprise it about Wednesday’s bandh. “Since parts of NH-10 fall under Kalimpong sub-division, there is bound to be inconvenience.

We appeal to traders of Sikkim, vehicle owners and others to restrict their movements on the bandh day,” Tamang said.

Interestingly, the Gorkha National Student’s Front, a frontal organisation of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, will be holding its public meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday. “We appeal to the GNLF  student wing and their party president Mann Ghisingh to postpone their public meeting,” Tamang said today.

But M.G.Subba, the Darjeeling sub-division convener of the GNLF, refused to budge and said the public meeting would go ahead as planned. “The public meeting is our pre-announced programme to highlight  the Sixth Schedule issue. The GJM should understand this. Why did they announce the strike all of a sudden?” he asked.

The GJM has also asked tourists in the hills to leave before September 27 if they have flight or train schedules for Wednesday. Later in the day, leaders of the hill TMC unit told reporters they condemned the bandh and that they would hit the streets on Wednesday to foil it. “We condemn GJM’s strike call and will protest on Wednesday. We don’t want conflict and so have started making the public aware of the disadvantages of strikes. This so because bandhs are not good for tourism, especially with the puja festivities approaching,” said N.B. Khawas, spokesperson for the hill TMC. He also said state tourism minister Gautam Deb, tribal minister James Kujur and north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh would come to the hills on Wednesday to observe developments.

Bengal Government Goes All Out to Thwart Strike Call by GJM - Threatens Cancellation of Licences, Permits, Mandates Govt Employees Presence on 27th, 28th and 29th 

Vivek Chhetri Telegraph The West Bengal government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.



The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

HC directive to government on Darjeeling bandh
The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengal government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of a Darjeeling hills bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) tomorrow.

A division bench presided by Chief Justice G C Gupta observed that the court can start a suo motu contempt proceeding against GJM as bandhs are illegal and unconstitutional and against existing judgements of Supreme Court and different high courts.


The division bench, also comprising Justice Arindam Sinha, directed the state government to ensure normal life in the hills by ensuring that individual constitutional rights are not infringed.

Moving a petition challenging the 12-hour bandh called by GJM supremo Bimal Gurung on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress MP and advocate Idris Ali submitted that existing Supreme Court and high court judgements have on many occasions declared bandhs as illegal.

Despite that a bandh has been called in Darjeeling Hills during the peak tourist season before Durga Pujas to disrupt normal life and to affect the livelihood of thousands of people involved directly or indirectly with the tourism industry, Ali submitted.

He prayed that if GJM goes ahead with the bandh call and tries to enforce it, then the hills party be directed to pay monetary compensation for any loss to the people or the state.

Gurung has called the bandh alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had not done enough for the development of the hills and also sought detail of projects taken up or completed as stated by the chief minister recently in Kalimpong at a public meeting.

Rift between Jan Andolan Party (JAP) and the Trinamool Congress Began

11:05 AM
TMC
Trinamool magic won't work in Darjeeling hills: JAP

Darjeeling, Sept. 26:In an obvious sign of relations souring up between the Jan Andolan Party and the Trinamool Congress, the JAP today rebuffed the TMC’s attempts to make inroads in the hills, asserting no national-level party would be able to usurp power in the region.

The latest swipe comes in the wake of chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently clarifying in a public programme that it was her and her government’s decision to form a separate Kalimpong district.

“We (hills) cherish regional feelings and sentiments when it comes to politics, whatever parties we may be associated with. No national party has been able to rule in the hills as the history of the place shows,” asserted Amar Lama, senior JAP bureau member, today durig a press briefing in Darjeeling.

Going a step further, Lama challenged the TMC to form the government in Tripura first. “Why, Darjeeling hills, we challenge the TMC to first form government in Tripura,” the JAP leader said.
Rift between Jan Andolan Party (JAP) and the Trinamool Congress Began
What has also irked the JAP leadership is the chief minister's reluctance to give credit to the party, the political ally of the TMC in the hills, with regard to the formation of the new district.

Coming out in defence of the party’s president, Lama reiterated that it was the strong pitch made by JAP chief Harka Bahadur Chhetri and the District Demand Committee (DDC) that made the state government decide to create Kalimpong district. “Our party president and the DDC pursued the issue of creating a Kalimpong district relentlessly. It was this untiring effort and pursuance that gave the state government the impetus to come to a decision. The chief minister cannot deny this fact,” said Lama.

The JAP has all along taken credit for the state government's decision to form a Kalimpong district, which apparently was not announced by the chief minister during her latest three-day visit to the hills,

much against popular expectations. Speaing at a programme organised by the Lepcha development board in Kalimpong, Banerjee clarified that nobody had pursued the matter with her to create Kalimpong district. Interestingly, Chhetri who is also the Kalimpong MLA, was among the invitees to the function and was seated on the dais when Banerjee uttered her statement.

The JAP president initially dabbled for a Kalimpong district as a member of the DDC after severing ties with the GJM before he went on to float the JAP to contest the assembly election riding on the Kalimpong district issue. Lama also took offence to the war of words between the state government and the GJM over allocation of funds to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. He said,

“Rather than indulging in making claims and allegations, the state government should ask the Comptroller Auditor General to audit the expenditure accounts of the GTA. It can be done on the basis of section 55, clause 9 of the GTA Act under the Funds and Audit section." Lama also suggested that if at all anomalies were found in the audit, the GTA Sabha should be dissolved then.

Mamata Banerjee has claimed that the state government had allocated Rs 4,000 crore to the GTA for development over a period of four years since the formation of the council in 2012. Refuting the claim,  GJM president Bimal Gurung has announced a 12 hour strike in the hills on September 28, seeking a clarification from the state government.

Via (EOIC)

JAP raps GTA & Mamata on funds
Darjeeling, Sept. 26: The Jana Andolan Party today accused both Mamata Banerjee and Bimal Gurung of indulging in politics over the GTA funds and asked the state government to conduct an audit of the hill body.

Amar Lama, a bureau member of the JAP, today said: "The chief minister had come up with a Rs 1,000 crore figure during a public meeting in Kurseong in March and after a few months, she talks about Rs 4,000 crore in Kalimpong. Instead of speaking on an issue like this at a public gathering, the chief minister should act seriously. The state government should ask the CAG to conduct an audit and if they find financial irregularities, the state should supersede the GTA as is laid out in the Act."

Lama further said the chief minister was raising the funds issue only when her relation with the Morcha was on the rocks. "Why is the issue being raised only when the relation between the two parties has hit a low? Had the relation (between the Morcha and Trinamul) been steady, it seems, the chief minister would have never raised the issue," said Lama.

In the recent Assembly elections, the JAP was in an alliance with the Trinamul Congress.

Accusing the Morcha of failing to be transparent, Lama said: "The Morcha must be transparent on the issue. The GTA, which is controlled by the Morcha, should give a proper reply to funds queries and should not hide details on money matters. However, there was no need to call a general strike on an issue related to claims and counter-claims on funds."

Late in the evening, Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said the Wednesday strike was also to strengthen the voice of Gorkhaland, which the state government was trying to scuttle in all possible ways. - Telegraph


Pradip Pradhan joined Trinamul blaming GJM not delivering on its promise

10:19 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 24: Bhupendra Pradhan, a founder member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the GTA chairperson, today joined Trinamul, blaming the hill party for failing to deliver on its promise of development.

Pradhan, who is better known as Pradip, joined the state's ruling party in the public meeting at the Kurseong Motor Stand in the presence of Trinamul minister Aroop Biswas.

Pradhan said his decision to join the Trinamul was to ensure development in the hills, particularly Kurseong. He accused the Morcha of failing to carry out any development work in the past four years.

The GTA elections are expected to be held around July 2017. The Morcha today decided to expel Pradhan.

The hill leader arrived at the venue in the car of Biswas, who is Trinamul's observer for north Bengal.

He said the Morcha leadership was not sincere about the Gorkhaland demand and added that if a sincere leader comes ahead for statehood, he would definitely support the demand.

"In the past four years, we have been able to do nothing for the hills. I have had a talk with Mamata Banerjee and she has promised to look into issues related to the development of Kurseong. I have also raised the issue of granting district status to Kurseong. I am confident that with the TMC, there will be development here," Pradhan said.

He, however, said that if development was not ushered in even by Trinamul, he could think of leaving his new party too.

Pradhan accused the Morcha of corruption, saying some party leaders "did not have the means to even buy a good brand of cigarettes" but now "when they go to Bagdogra airport they enquire about the cost of a helicopter run by the Sikkim government. Where has this confidence come from?"

At the sidelines of the meeting, Pradhan said Bimal Gurung would not resign from the GTA as he had recently threatened. "He will not resign, note it down, as there is money in GTA," Pradhan said.

Pradhan urged the people to ponder over why Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Anmole Prasad, Trilok Dewan and Amar Lama had left the hill's biggest party.

Pradhan said in the next three months, the Morcha will have "only 20 per cent support" in the hills.

Morcha to oust Pradhan
The central committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today decided to expel Bhupendra Pradhan, popularly known as Pradip Pradhan, who switched to Trinamul today, from the party.

Soon after the central committee session, the GTA Sabha members met at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan and submitted a written request to the GTA Sabha vice-chairman, Lopsang Yolmo, to convene a special meeting where, sources said, they would seek the removal of Pradhan as the GTA chairman.

The meeting is likely to be held on August 26.

Morcha general secretary and the GTA Sabha member in-charge of education, Roshan Giri, said: "At the central committee meeting, we discussed the Gorkhaland issue. The party has also decided to expel Pradip Pradhan from the primary membership."

A source in the GTA said: "According to Section 37 of the GTA Act, a special meeting can be requisitioned by one-third of the Sabha members and once the vice-chairman convenes a meeting, the chairman can be removed by a resolution adopted by a simple majority of the total number of elected members of the GTA Sabha."

There are 45 elected members in the GTA Sabha.

The Morcha has also decided to hold a public meeting in Kurseong on Sunday.

According to sources, the move is an attempt to boost the morale of party cadres in the area and counter the Trinamul gathering where Pradhan switched allegiance.

Today, around 300 voluntary teachers, who were members of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO) Movement Committee, burnt the effigy of Giri here before resigning from the Morcha.

The hill party had disbanded the Movement Committee last month after some of the members had criticised Giri alleging that he had not been working towards regularising the jobs of the 500-odd voluntary teachers in more than 120 schools across the hills.

Amit Gurung, the co-ordinator of the erstwhile Movement Committee, said: "We burnt the effigy of Roshan Giri today. Around 300 members have resigned from the party. We will soon meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee and decide our future course of action."

The teachers have decided to remain apolitical at the moment, sources said.

Told about the development, Giri said: "If by burning my effigy, their jobs are regularised, they are most welcome to burn my effigy everyday."

At Darjeeling Motor Stand, the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha started a relay hunger strike "for Gorkhaland" today with seven student leaders participating in it.

Satyam Lama, the president of the Vidyarthi Morcha, said: "Our hunger strike is a message that our agitation is democratic in nature. We demand that the Centre open a dialogue on Gorkhaland and efforts be taken to constitute a committee to look into our demand."


Via Telegraph

Mamata receives warm welcome from GNLF, and Development Boards

10:13 AM
Writes: Prashant Acharya

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was given a grand reception yesterday afternoon at the Bagdogra airport and in Rohini near Kurseong by hill communities that included the Khambu Rai, Lepcha Development Council members as also cadres of the Gorkha National Liberation Front.

This was the first time that GNLF supporters were seen welcoming the chief minister with khadas and Nepali scarves and reflects the ongoing bonhomie between the Trinamool chief and Mann Ghisingh, who the chief minister has appointed as vice chairman of the North Bengal Board of Sports and Games.
Thousands of people from both the plains and the hills had gathered at the airport since morning to welcome the chief minister, who landed around three in the afternoon and proceeded directly to Darjeeling without uttering a word to the press people present.

In Rohini, she was accorded a grand welcome with flowers, khadas and traditional garlands. The chief minister even alighted from her car to accept the greetings. Banerjee will be in Darjeeling for five days and welcome President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday who will be flying directly to the Lebong helipad from Bagdogra. On Wednesday, July 13 the President and Banerjee will attend a function observing the birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya. The chief minister is also slated to attend the annual meeting of the Darjeeling Tea Association during her five-day stay.
Over 400 members of the Bhujel community met chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Bagdogra airport yesterday and submitted a memorandum demanding a development board.
Mamata receives warm welcome from GNLF, and Development Boards
The state government has formed seven development boards in the hills - for Lepchas, Bhutias, Sherpas, Tamangs, Rais, Mangars and Limbus.

"A couple of days ago, sources in the government had said they would form a board to cover three (more) hill communities. This encouraged the Bhujels to approach the chief minister," an observer said:

On Saturday, a government official had said the state intended to form the West Bengal Biswakarma Welfare Board for the development of communities like the Kami, Damai and Sarki.

[With additional inputs from Telegraph]

Via TheDC

Bhanu Jayanti and the Endless Mamata Hypocrisy

9:20 AM
Writes: Upendra
Darjeeling 12th July 2016 Tomorrow we celebrate Bhanu Jayanti, in honour of the 1st poet to write and publish in what is today known and regarded as Nepali language. This will be the first time that Bengal government is officially celebrating Bhanu Jayanti since India became Independent.
There is a reason behind it.

Municipal elections are set to be held in December and GTA elections next year and TMC fancies it is in with a chance to win political mandate in the hills, hence Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee accompanied by the President Pranab Mukherjee, who also happens to be Bengali, are going to celebrate Bhanu Jayanti as a Bengal government sponsored jamboree this year at Chowrasta.
There are multiple layers of hypocrisy in Bengal government holding this event, and had ours been a more self-respecting community, we would boycott this indirect slap on our faces. But given that some of our people have sold their self-respect for a few crore rupees, I am certain that there will be a massive crowd present tomorrow to cheer and hoot to everything that Mamata says.

Despite repeated requests for including Nepali as an Optional paper in WBCS, the Bengal government has turned a complete blind eye and deaf ears to our request, yet tomorrow when Mamata announces how the Bengal government is a champion of Nepali language, the sellouts from our hills in attendance will welcome her every word with a rapturous clap of hands.

Ever since Mamata came to power, there has been a deliberate attempt at undermining Nepali language at each and every turn. The government forms are printed in Bengali, scholarship sites have only featured Bengali language, all the government signs and majority of the posters are written in Bengali, and now even the ration cards are being printed in Bengali. Yet tomorrow, when Mamata announces how she has promoted the use of Nepali and Nepali language, the sellouts from our hills will dance and celebrate.
Bhanu Jayanti and the Endless Mamata Hypocrisy
In Pic: Same content... same class... same book... one is in Nepali... another is in Bengali... both the languages are recognized as NATIONAL languages of India under the 8th Scheduled of the Constitution... both the languages are recognized as OFFICIAL languages of West Bengal... yet Book in Nepali is printed in black and white... Book in Bengali is printed in colour... IF THIS IS NOT DISCRIMINATION, WHAT IS? This is the very reason why we need Gorkhaland... as for Bengal, we will always remain 2nd class citizens.
After taking over the reign of Bengal, Mamata has systematically discriminated against the hill students. Books written for Nepali medium schools, including that of Nepali language are full of factual errors and mistakes, and as if that was not enough, the books printed in Nepali are in black and white, where as the same books printed in Bengali are in colour. To add to our woes numerous schools across Darjeeling and Dooars where Nepali students are in majority, are yet to get any of their government issued textbooks, despite the fact that more than half of their school year is over. Yet tomorrow, when Mamata talks of her love for the Nepali speaking people, the sellouts from our community will call her God and perhaps even pray to her.

Tomorrow, Mamata will again claim "Pahar Hasche" and indeed the news channels will show the laughing, smiling face of sellouts - but what she won't tell you is that, Bengal government has not conducted Panchayat elections since 2000 in the hills, that over 500 Panchayat posts are remaining vacant in the hills, that for the past 15 years there have been no promotion granted to any hill panchayat employee, while Panchayat employees from the plains are being gradually transferred to the hills. Same is the case with schools where over 2500 vacancies have not been filled since 2001. Schools are running without headmasters and colleges are running without any principals. Same is also true for almost every other government department, where permanent posts have remained vacant for decades.

Tomorrow, Mamata will again promise numerous development projects in Darjeeling region, but what she won't promise is the equal treatment of Nepali language or Nepali speaking people in Bengal. She won't promise that the next Chairman of PSC will be from the hills, she won't promise that the next VC in any of the Bengal based universities will be a hill academic. She won't promise that non-Bengali students and youths will be provided with equal opportunity, she won't promise that they will be given equal benefits, and she won't promise that these children will have a bright future in Bengal. While students in the plains are given Kanyashree and Sabujh Saathi, hill students are deprived of even most basic of all needs - text books, that itself should be telling.

Most hypocritical of all though is the fact that Bhanu Bhawan, which is built in the honour and memory of Kabi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya is 5 minutes walk away from Chowrasta, which has a massive hall where such functions could be undertaken, but no that wouldn't assuage Mamata's ego, would it? She had to dig up and destroy Chowrasta so that she could send proper visuals back to Kolkata and non-Nepali speaking homes and proudly claim "Pahar Hasche" and our sellouts would indeed be laughing like mentally challenged retards who don't know right from wrong.

Via TheDC


Panchayat election in GTA area claims hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia

9:26 AM
TMC hints at rural elections

Writes Vivek Chhetri
Darjeeling, July 1: The Trinamool Congress (Hills) president today hinted that the state was planning to hold the panchayat elections in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration area by the end of this year.

Although the state Election Commission has not made any announcement regarding the polls, Rajen Mukhia, the president, TMC (Hills), said: "I am hopeful that the panchayat election, even if it is for two tiers will take place in October-November this year."

The last time the hill rural polls were held in 2000.

Although the Centre, state and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had agreed to hold the three-tier rural polls in the GTA area in 2011, it was not held as a constitutional amendment is needed to start the process.

As of now, the Constitution has a provision to hold a two-tier panchayat elections in the hills - the gram panchayat and the panchayat samity.

Today, Mukhia said: "I was told to take charge of TMC (Hills) for the second term yesterday. I will try my best to justify the faith reposed on me by the leadership. We will take part in all three elections - panchayat, municipality and the GTA - and we are confident of doing well."
Hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia
Hill TMC president Rajen Mukhia
Trinamul sources said Mukhia's confidence about the poll timing comes after getting strong indications from the party leadership. "He will not speak with such confidence unless he has been given a strong hint," said a source.

Mukhia added that new committees at all levels - from district to panchayat - would be formed in the next two weeks. "The party expects results from us and we must deliver. We are very clear that only those leaders who perform will get a place in the new committees. ... Those who do not perform or are not active in the party will have to sit out irrespective of seniority," he said.

A source said Trinamul was eager to contest the elections in the hills after its performance in the Assembly polls.

While elections to the four hill municipalities - Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik - are due later this year, the GTA polls are scheduled for July next year.

A Morcha leader refused comment on Mukhia's statement. "We would not like to react unless it is discussed in a party meeting."

Via Telegraph



Hill Trinamool Congress geared up for Municipality and GTA elections

8:32 AM
TMC
DARJEELING 1 Jul 2016 It is no work, no rank for hill Trinamool Congress leaders holding portfolios, as the party gears up to take on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the upcoming municipality and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) elections.

Having tasted bitter-sweet defeat in the hills from the GJM in the 2014 Lok Sabha and the state Assembly elections, the hill TMC leadership is wary of a possible backlash from the high command in Kolkata in the event of another rout. “We just cannot keep losing elections. The party high command in Kolkata has expectations from us and we will have to deliver.

Therefore, from today we are going to take drastic measures within the party,” said Rajen Mukhia, the hill TMC president, who on Thursday was re-elected for the second consecutive term.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia lost to the BJP’s Surendra Singh Ahluwalia, who was supported by the GJM, by more than one lakh votes.
Hill Trinamool Congress geared up Municipality and GTA elections
Rajen Mukhia  - a file photo
Similarly, in the Assembly election earlier this year, TMC candidates from Darjeeling and Kurseong constituencies lost to the GJM, although the margin of victory was narrower.

On Thursday, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee announced in Siliguri separate committees of the party for the hills and plains regions. Gautam Deb, the state tourism minister, was made the president of the plains committee. Meanwhile, Mukhia said, “It is an honour and a huge responsibility to be made the president for a second term. I thank Didi for appreciating and recognising my sincerity in running the party in the hills.  I will try and live up to the expectations of the party leadership."

Today, the hill TMC president held a meeting in Sukhaypokhari near Darjeeling and asked party leaders there to form a new committee with a strong leadership. “I have made it clear that leaders holding portfolios and staying at home and working will not have it easy. They will be stripped off their rank and will have to be satisfied with being a general member of the party,” Mukhia warned, adding he had asked the Sukhaypokhari unit to form a new committee within a week.

“We will hold similar meetings and form new block committees in various municipality and panchayat areas and conduct fresh membership drives. We will also constitute the district committee within a week and send it to Kolkata for approval,” Mukhia said. Mukhia, who will be in Kolkata tomorrow to attend a meeting of district presidents with Mamata, said he was hopeful that elections to the  two-tier panchayat in the hills would be held at the end of this year. “We are hopeful that by October-November, the two-tier panchayat election will be held. We will contest the panchayat,  municipality and GTA elections,” he said.

Of the possibility of an alliance with the Gorkha National Liberation Front and Jan Andolan Party, who had extended support to the TMC in the Assembly elections, Mukhia said, “We are of the belief that those against the GJM misrule will ally with us. As for seat adjustments, it will be done by our high command whenever required."

(EOIC)

Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh in Mamata Banerjee's new committees

2:59 PM
Mamata Banerjee has decided to include Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh in her new committees in a move to consolidate the anti-Morcha votes in the upcoming elections. With the GNLF and JAP presidents getting posts in the committees Gorkha Janmukti Morcha GJM  accused them for selling the statehood dream of the people for their respective posts.

Morcha barb at Mamata panels
Writes Vivek Chhetri and Rajeev Ravidas for Telegraph
Darjeeling, June 30: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today criticised Mamata Banerjee's decision to nominate Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh in the new committees she had announced yesterday and said that her efforts to consolidate the anti-Morcha votes will not have any impact on the hill party in the upcoming civic and GTA elections.

The Morcha accused the presidents of the Jana Andolan Party (Chhetri) and the GNLF (Mann) for selling the statehood dream of the people for the post of vice-chairmen in the panels.

"We congratulate both Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh for becoming the vice-chairmen of different government panels. They have been appointed as vice-chairmen despite being presidents of their respective parties. Could anything be more demoralising and humiliating for their parties?" asked Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh in Mamata Banerjee's new committees
Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mann Ghisingh in Mamata Banerjee's new committees 
Yesterday, Mamata Banerjee announced four new committees in Siliguri and made some of the former ministers and Trinamul leaders who had lost the Assembly polls members of the panels.

Apart from her party leaders, Chhetri and Mann also made it to the committees.

While Chhetri has been made the vice-chairman of Uttarbanga Unnayan Parshad, Mann has been nominated as the vice-chairman of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports and Games.

The Parshad will be headed by Abdul Karim Chowdhury and Bhaichung Bhutia has been named as the head of the sports panel.

Today, Tamang said: "Earlier, too, Harka Bahadur Chhetri's name had featured in TMC's candidate list but it was removed later. The recent development proves that the JAP and TMC are the same. Harka Bahadur Chhetri had said that he had made a roadmap for his party till 2025. It seems the roadmap was to get a chair for himself."

Criticising Mann's nomination to the panel, Tamang said: "The Gorkhaland martyrs' dream has been sold for a post of vice-chairman by the GNLF. Of late, the GNLF has been saying that they do not need Gorkhaland. We want to remind them that one should not forget one's community and its aspirations."

The Morcha said Mamata's decision to include the two hill leaders was aimed at consolidating anti-Morcha votes. "The decision was taken to ensure that the three parties (JAP, GNLF and TMC) fight the municipality and the GTA elections together. In the past, too, they had joined hands against us but it did not have any impact (on us). This development, too, will have no impact," said Tamang.

Mann Ghisingh, who is in Siliguri, said over the phone: "I have not received any official letter (regarding the committee and his post in it) and I need to know the details first before commenting. I came to know about the development through The Telegraph this morning."

In Kalimpong, Harka said: "I would like to thank the Bengal chief minister. This, in a way, is proof of her trust on my capacity and capability. I will try to live up to her trust and do whatever is required of me in the office ... I do not know yet what my responsibilities would be. I am yet to get a formal letter. Once I get it, I will go to the (council) office, and get myself acquainted with my responsibilities and work."

GJM denounces GNLF, JAP for selling-off statehood demand published in - EOI
DARJEELING 30 Jun 2016 With chief minister Mamata Banerjee announcing certain posts in various state government panels to GNLF president Mann Ghisingh and Jan Andolan Party president Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has slammed them for selling off and exchanging the statehood demand to secure these posts.

On Wednesday in Siliguri, the chief minister also announced the names of hill TMC leaders Shanta Chhetri as a member of the Advisory Council of Tea Directorate and Sardha Subba Rai as the director of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation. Ghisingh has been made the vice-chairman of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports and Games while Chhetri has become the vice-chairman of the Uttarbanga Unnayan Parishad.

GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said, “We congratulate them, especially the hill TMC leaders, who were given important posts by the chief minister. We have nothing to comment on this as the chief minister can do so in her official capacity. But what came as a surprise was the GNLF and JAP presidents getting posts. Once again it has been proven that the JAP and the TMC are one and the same body as during the Vidhan Sabha election too, Chhetri's name had been initially announced by Mamata as a TMC candidate. When the JAP was formed, they had said they had prepared a roadmap for Gorkhaland, but now this has been proved otherwise,” said Tamang.

He added, “It seems that the GNLF too has sold-off the demand or Sixth Schedule and Gorkhaland for the post of a vice-chairman. They have also sold the dreams of the 1,200 martyrs of the Gorkhaland agitation in the mid eighties. Recently, a GNLF delegation met with the chief minister in Kolkata and the dole Ghisingh has received seems to be the main topic they discussed about.”

Tamang further said that the chief minister's announcements was a clear indication that the three parties would join hands in fighting upcoming elections, but this would not affect the Morcha at all.

When reminded that his party too was trying to improve relations with the state government, Tamang said, “Being the ruling party here and in charge of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, it is prudent to maintain a good working relationship with the state government. But this does not mean we have a political relationship as well as we demand statehood while the state government is against it.”

When Chhetri was contacted, he said, “I thank the chief minister for announcing my name as vice-chairman of the north Bengal development board and once I receive official intimation I will see what  I can do to help the people.” Commenting on the allegations made by the Morcha, he said, “It is the GJM who is not sincere about the Gorkhaland demand and use it as an issue only during elections.

They mainly criticise our party as we have done so much in such little time; they are afraid of losing popular support as they have not done anything.

Moreover, they are no one to comment on who we keep good relations with as such terms have to be maintained for the benefit of the people. As for the matter of being in love with an official post, please  do not forget that GJM chief Bimal Gurung had once quit as the GTA chief executive only to occupy it immediately afterwards.”

Chhetri also stressed that the JAP has not decided anything regarding forthcoming elections. While the GNLF president could not be contacted even after repeated attempts, party general secretary  Mahendra Chhetri said, “We have not received any official intimation about our president being given a post and what we know is through the media. Any decision to that effect will be taken once we  receive official confirmation and by holding a meeting. As for the allegations by the GJM, everyone can see that we are keenly pursuing the demand for Sixth Schedule, which we believe, is a step towards achieving Gorkhaland.” (EOIC)

Via EOI & Telegraph


 
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